AFTER a two year hiatus the NSW Spectacles Program has returned to Armidale thanks to optical dispenser Steve Meyer.
The program offers prescription glasses to assist those on Government incomes or low-income earners.
Four years ago an optometrist contacted Mr Meyer and offered him the contract because there was no interest in Tamworth and he agreed to take on the challenge.
“I’m not big-noting myself but you’ve got to remember where you come from and I do make a bit of money out of it, but not like if I were in a private optometrist business.
“I don’t mind helping people out, you’ve really got to remember where you come from, you’ve got to have a bit of humility in life,” he said.
The program was previously run by Ray Harrison in Armidale but he ceased providing the service two years ago.
There is no other program available to low-income earners, so those that could not afford to travel to Tamworth or Glen Innes were forced to go without.
Mr Meyer said that staff at the Armidale Neighbourhood Centre were thrilled that the service would return to the community and had offered him the space rent free.
“Lynette Ross rang me and she nearly jumped through the phone because you can see the people they see here and that shows there was a real need for it,” he said.
Armidale Neighbourhood Centre manager Robbie Passmore said that he was thrilled to be able to offer the service to Armidale residents again.
“We are delighted that with Steve’s commitment this service is recommencing for the benefit of Armidale and District residents.
“It is a valuable program and was greatly missed,” he said.
Optical dispenser Steve Meyer believes has worked in optics for years and believes the focus has changed.
“Optics has changed, when I started at 17 I can remember going for my interview and the manager asked me if I really want to help people, but now optics is all about the dollars.
“When we did training they used to have us down to Sydney for customer service training, now as long as you can sell that’s all they’re interested in,” he said.
Mr Meyer said that for a long time he had thought he was in sales, but now he knows that he was really in the business of customer service.
This has driven his interest in providing a service for low-income earners with vision impairment.
Mr Meyer will take appointments each fortnight on a Monday.
For more information about the program or to make an appointment phone the Armidale Neighbourhood Centre on 6772 4373.
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